It's All About the Badge, Baby | What Do You Do With Yours?

I have been known to discuss the 'badge' quite a bit on this blog ... I mentioned it when I talked about what kinds of wedding blogs you should try to advertise on and I mentioned it again in this post about profile pages and ad materials ... and guess what, I'll mention badges again after THIS post ... which is:  all about the badge, baby

Badges are pretty and collecting them is as close as you can get to being an online hoarder ... but you may not realize there are TONS of ways to show off these little badges of honor ... and if you already do all of these, then kudos!!!

Display on Your Website

When a bride clicks into your website what will she see?  Go ahead, do it now and tell me where your eye goes IMMEDIATELY ... you back yet?  Where did your eye go?  Or were you hit by music and got all distracted (please no music on your website!)?  First impressions mean everything ... and I believe that the FIRST impression clients should see when they hop on your site are your beautifully displayed badges next to a recent image of your work.  (NO DATED PHOTOS PLEASE!!!!!)  Think about it: if a bride who is obsessed with wedding blogs goes to YOUR website and the first thing she sees is that you love her favorite blogs too .?.?. holy moly, that's huge!!!  She will feel a connection to you ... and while it may not lead to a hire each and every time, it will certainly keep a potential client on your site longer than if say they are greeted with a spot color image of a bouquet from the 1980's ;) !

Display and LINK on Your Blog

Ok, having another DUH moment with me??  Haha!!  But this doesn't always happen!  I find a lot of wedding pros will display their badges on their blog in the footer ... like way the heck down there where possibly NOBODY will see them!  How will they help you there??  Display them in the sidebar or on the very top header of your blog so that every page showcases your 'gold stars' in your reign as a wedding florist, photographer, stationery designer, planner, etc, etc, etc!!!

Add the Badges to Your Email Footer

Yep!!!  This is another big one!  Adding your badges to your email footer so that every time you email someone they are there saying "hello" ... this works two ways!  One: if you are emailing another wedding professional they may be more inclined to want to refer you and work with you because they see that you really care about getting your work featured ... and if YOU care about getting your work featured and they work with you, perhaps there are more chances for THEM to be featured too!!  See what I did there?? ;)  Two: if you are responding to a lead with a potential client they will see that you aren't a newbie (not that there is anything wrong with that << gotta start somewhere!!!) and you know how to do your thang!

Michelle Garibay (a Temecula wedding designer) might just kill me ... but she impressed me SO much with her email footer ... I can't resist sharing it as an example:

Look at all that chedda!!! This is an excellent tool ... trust me :)

Create a Printable Image of All Your Badges Together and Put them in a Frame to Display at Trade Shows and Bridal Shows

This idea was shared with me from Kimberly at Alante Photography (a Seattle wedding photography company) and I was SO impressed!!  Kimberly and Loren created a beautiful graphic that showed all their featured badges and awards and framed it for their booth at the Seattle Wedding Show.  Such a great tool and a way to create a rapport with potential clients!  Plus, I truly believe that this shows you CARE about your work ... that your passion runs deep :)

Post Each Badge To Your Social Media Feeds

As you receive badges, be sure and post them to your social media accounts!  BRAG!!!!  Did you recently get featured on Bridal Musings??  Post the badge on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and when you blog about the feature (<< because I know you will!!! right??) you can PIN the badge to your Pinterest boards (creating an 'as featured in' Pinterest board is an awesome idea) which then link to your blog post about the feature (creating TRAFFIC to your site).

>> final words of wisdom <<

I've noticed that there are blogs that wedding pros ALWAYS brag about being featured on or being a member of ... but here's my advice: remember who your CLIENT is ... us in the wedding industry know on some level that you are always going to brag about being featured on SMP or GWS or WC << and you should be!!  But if you feel there are blogs that aren't as brag-worthy and you don't care to announce your publication on that particular blog, you might consider that it's still exciting for prospective clients to hear about it!  There is no such thing as a small publication ... each time you are published you get to collect another badge and show off how awesome YOU are.

So, if you are reading this and think to yourself: "I was featured last month on XYZ and I never really announced it ... but by now it's probably too late ... right!?!?"  WRONG!!!  It's never too late!  Even if you were featured on a blog 5 months ago and never thought it was very cool ... bring that baby back to life!!  Resurrect it!!  Share and it will be exciting :)  I promise!

XO~ Heather